Each of the 1.3 million horses in Australia, no matter how quiet or well educated, has the potential to become involved in an emergency incident and need rescuing. Two of the most common scenarios are of horses trapped in mud and incidents involving horse floats but horses also fall down cliffs and into ditches, gullies, sinkholes and septic tanks, and they become stuck in quicksand. When it is not possible to help the horse to self-rescue it is vital not to cause additional injuries or kill the casualty. Tragically, if a horse is involved in an emergency situation he could sustain serious injuries or be killed, not necessarily from the original incident but from the rescue attempts of well-meaning but untrained personnel who are not aware that specialised rescue techniques for large animals exist and that the human rescue techniques of primary triage, first aid and medical support can be applied to horses. Injured humans are never removed from an accident scene by being dragged out with ropes tied around their necks, wrists or ankles but that is exactly how horses are manhandled, often with devastating consequences. Horses are routinely strangled, drowned and dropped and rescuers themselves are often severely injured or killed because they don't understand how potentially explosive and dangerous a trapped horse can be. Because of their volatile nature, the dangers inherent in rescuing horses cannot be overemphasised and responders must treat each rescue exactly as if it contained a Hazardous Material - a dangerous object that will explode without warning. These techniques work. Twenty years ago, only a tiny four to ten percent of the one thousand large animal rescues carried out in the UK each year were deemed to be successful - that is, they did not maim, severely injure or kill the animals involved. However, when advisers who were trained in technical large animal rescue techniques joined rescue teams, the percentage of successful rescues was raised to 96% (P. Baker 2006).These techniques work.
|Title||:||Equine Emergency Rescue|
|Author||:||MaryAnne Leighton, Michelle Staples|